Subject: Re: SACRED COWS
From: Maenad <Maenad -at- WORLDNET -dot- ATT -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 22:55:02 -0600

John Gilger wrote:

> Hi Everybody!
> Since my last comments regarding writing samples stirred up so much
> comment,
> let's shoot at another sacred cow.
> It is easier to teach an engineer to write than it is to teach a
> "writer" or
> "technical communicator" to understand and explain engineering
> principles
> and technology.
> I have worked with both, as peers and subordinates, and the engineers
> are
> more productive every time. Of course, I write documentation for high
> tech
> engineering projects, so the view is admittedly biased.
> If you want to be a good, well-paid, tech writer, get a BSEE or BSCS
> then
> get the hell away from those ivory towers.
> Fire off that email, this ought to be an interesting discussion.
> John Gilger
> "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't teach
> stick
> around for a Ph. D."

WOW! You are certainly the inflammatory one! ;-> I am afraid I have to
agree with you. It _IS_ easier to learn to write than to "catch-up" on
engineering/computer/technical theory. Okay, notice I expand your
original thought to include non-engineering technical disciplines. Any
field of study that deals with technology, be it engineering, computer
science, or programming (etc...) forges the mind in ways that a non-tech
individual rarely understands.

An argument could be made that any "engineer" who can write probably
uses the wrong side of his/her brain, hence they are not true engineers,
merely very smart liberal arts majors!

Enough flame bait for one email. BTW I teach as well as write and do
"techie" stuff--explain that one.


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